Transient to be Arraigned in Pacific Palisades Crime Spree

LAPD Capt. Brian Thomas speaks to the media outside of 16851 Sunset Blvd. Monday, Aug. 11 following a morning crime spree.
LAPD Capt. Brian Thomas speaks to the media outside of 16851 Sunset Blvd. Monday, Aug. 11 following a morning crime spree.

A transient was charged Wednesday with more than a dozen felonies for allegedly going on a Pacific Palisades crime spree that included a kidnapping, assaults and multiple carjackings.

Brian Thomas Cruz, 44, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on four felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon; three counts of carjacking; two counts each of first-degree burglary, second-degree robbery, criminal threats and reckless driving causing injury; and one count each of kidnapping and false imprisonment by violence.

Cruz was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

According to the criminal complaint, Cruz has prior convictions for burglary, robbery and forcible rape between 1989 and 1995.

Cruz allegedly broke into a home around 7:40 a.m. Monday in the 100 block of Marquez Place and forced a woman at knifepoint to drive him toward the San Fernando Valley, police said. The woman intentionally crashed her car near
Palisades High School, but Cruz allegedly carjacked another woman, a teacher, but he also crashed that vehicle a short distance away, according to police and prosecutors.

He then allegedly broke into another home and forced another woman to surrender her car keys. Cruz drove north on Pacific Coast Highway and ultimately reached Malibu before hitting several vehicles and eventually crashing again and being taken into custody.

A woman and her son were flown to hospitals after being injured in the crash in Malibu, officials said.

He faces a possible life sentence if convicted of all charges, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Cruz was jailed on $1 million bail, but prosecutors plan to ask that his bail be increased to $2.85 million.

City News Service contributed to this report.